Philadelphia – the first two days

A year into my new role at the Medical School at Dalhousie, and my business related travels have involved trips to Toronto and Philadelphia, the two places I’ve spent the most time in from my previous career.   I was off to Philadelphia to attend the Educause conference on information technology in higher education.  It was an incredible experience professionally, and it allowed me to reacquaint myself with my one of my favourite American cities.

October 18 – I take an earlier morning flight which lets me squeeze in a cheesesteak for lunch at Jim’s Steaks on South and 4th in Center City before the conference gets underway.   It’s a mess to eat and I don’t want to know what it does for my heart, but I walked about 45 minutes round-trip from my hotel for this to at least make my conscience feel better about my dietary choice:

After a great happy hour with project/portfolio managers in higher education from around the world, I was planning on having dinner at an old favourite place near Rittenhouse Square.  It was jammed, but I stumbled on a really interesting place called Ladder 15 (on Sansom St).  It’s a gastro pub in a converted firehouse.  The food was really good.  I had two Korean tacos (one with shortribs, one with pork belly) – spectacular fresh flavours that went well with a Victory Prima Pilsner from Downingtown, PA.   The guy sitting beside me was a huge Eagles fan so we lamented the season together.  When I told him I was from Nova Scotia he asked “…. that’s close to Greenland, right?”  Um, no.

October 19 – Conference days can feel very long.  A multitude of sessions and lots of discussions with colleagues is both exhilarating and draining.   I take my evening respite at Tria, really, one of my all-time favourite places anywhere I’ve traveled.   I grab a seat at the bar and try to make up my mind – they’ve got an outstanding selection of wines by the glass and beers from around the world.  The food menu is small focusing on cheese tastings, higher end sandwiches, salads and appetizers.  I end up selecting a beer (Allagash White from Maine) to drink and a sandwich with crispy prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, roasted tomatoes, arugula, roasted tomatoes and garlic oil:

On the way back to the hotel, I get caught in a torrential downpour (one which hits Halifax the next day), but it does little to dampen my spirits after a great conference day and wonderful supper.


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